By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
After a yearlong hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic, Fantasy Lab, the interactive adventure in Mexico City’s Plaza Metrópoli Shopping Mall in Colonia San Pedro de los Pinos, has reopened with a spooky new display of kinetic art and optical illusions.
The new show, titled “Arts Night,” is a whirlwind of moving sculptures, interactive optical illusions and moving electronic projections staged in seven distinct chambers that surround visitors with visual, audio and even tactile sensations that imitate a dream reality.
Each room is the unique creative expression of a different Mexican or international artist, presenting their personal interpretation of a dream sequence.
The surreal journey begins when guests are invited to enter the first chamber, a totally darkened room veiled in tiny suspended lights that create a star-like effect, interrupting any sense of physical orientation and setting the stage for the surreal adventure that will follow in the subsequent rooms.
The twinkling effect of the lights is intensified by head-to-toe mirrors that reflect their luster and illumination paced to a haunting symphony of electronic music.
Guests are encouraged to find their way through the labyrinth of lights to the next room, a brightly lit, dizzying, black-and-white checkered hall with a Dali-esque upside-down bed suspended from the ceiling, a wall dripping with multihued spilled neon paint and a giant yellow dismembered giraffe.
Cartoon characters in both two and three dimensions populate the scene, creating a childlike wonderland.
The next room is cross between the inside workings of a massive lava lamp and a polychrome psychedelic kaleidoscope prism projected onto a wall with infinity mirrors.
Next comes the nightmare part of the dreams experience, a darkened room with red pits of swirling blood and moribund hands scratching their way out of the whirlpool. (Don’t worry, they are all just electronic images projected on the floor and walls.)
Cross a spooky-(ish) bridge over the vortex of blood and find your way past a ghostly graveyard and you enter the fifth chamber, an abandoned dreamlike circus room with fragments of an animal cage, a creepy clown with claw hands and a projection of a circus posters from bygone years,.
Room Six is a maze of pictures on glass and mirrors, leading into the final chamber, a long, dimly lit room with comfortable seats centered around fluffy white clouds.
After an aeronautical spin through the galaxy, the figure of a ballet dancer appears on the walls to guide the guests through a maze of extraterrestrial wonders before returning to the Fantasy Lab lounge, which is aptly decorated with skeletons and a Day of the Dead altar.
The Arts Nights Dreams exhibit is open to the public at the Plaza Metrópoli Patriotismo Shopping Mall, Monday through Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There is a 340-peso admission fee.